Dereck Chisora opens up on brawls, cigars and his showdown with Tyson Fury

‘I got in trouble so I dropped the C in my name in case I went to court!’: Del Boy is back as Dereck Chisora as the heavyweight star opens up on brawls, cigars and his epic showdown with Tyson Fury

  • Dereck Chisora will hope it is third time lucky against Tyson Fury on Saturday
  • Chisora lost their first encounter on points before being stopped in 2014 sequel 
  • And win, lose or draw, the 38-year-old will leave the arena smoking a cigar
  • He also reflected on his youth where dropped the C in his name to avoid the law 

Is Tyson Fury’s challenger for the world heavyweight title Dereck or Derek Chisora? Does this devout follower of Jesus prefer his name with or without a C? And why has it kept changing?

These may not be the most vital questions prior to Saturday night’s fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Not when the two most important letters in the lexicon of the prize-ring are KO, which each combatant is promising to inflict on the other. But the answers shed light on how radically life has altered for this man in the 15 years and 45 fights of a rumbustious career.

‘I was christened Dereck and that was me as a boy,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘But after I started getting in trouble with the law I dropped the C in case I had to go to court. That let me say they had the wrong name on the charge sheet, which got me off everything.’

Dereck Chisora (above) enjoys a cigar ahead of his showdown with Tyson Fury on Saturday

There were lurid reports of brawls, stabbings and shootings, some true, some but not all left in his past: ‘That’s not the case any more. It’s time to bring back Dereck. I prefer it that way now, if you don’t mind.’

The C has reappeared on Team Chisora’s tracksuit tops, a symbol of a life which has become as much wrapped up in love, family and tranquility as it still is about boxing.

Another C-word speaks to the transformation in his personal life — cigar. Chisora ponders how he came from birth in Zimbabwe to fighting for England, the WBC world title and £2million this weekend by lighting up. Cuba’s finest, of course.

Chisora lost their first encounter on points before being stopped in their 2014 sequel

Chisora lost their first encounter on points before being stopped in their 2014 sequel

‘A Montecristo for the big occasion and the long reflecting,’ he says. ‘Cohibas for the smaller smoke, especially before breakfast.’

So how many, how often? ‘Ten a day,’ he says. ‘My wife goes mad. When she can’t find me in the house she phones me asking where am I. Outside in the garden. With my cigar, pacing up and down the lawn. If not that, she might find me going to see my friends in my Smart car.’

This giant may not look like a typical family man, but he smiles broadly as he talks about personally redecorating his girls’ bedrooms. Chisora grins, too, when reviewing the scale of his task — at 38 against a champion even more dauntingly huge than himself.

Fury will defend his WBC title against Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Fury will defend his WBC title against Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

‘Tyson is extremely agile for 6ft 9in,’ he says. ‘Of course he’s dangerous, we both are. But right now, as well as him, I’m the best boxer I’ve ever been. We’ve both discovered the older you get the more you understand boxing.

‘Technically the two of us are the best we will ever be, even though we are not as young as we used to be. Tyson’s in his 30s too but he wouldn’t be world champion if he wasn’t so good technically.’

So how will he set about the job at hand? ‘With his movement and technique I can’t expect to beat him on points. But now he is going more for the KO himself, that gives me a better chance of knocking him out.’

The only aspect of this occasion which does not amuse him is criticism of Fury choosing a friend he has beaten twice as his warm-up for a spring fight against Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight title.

Around 60,000 tickets have been pre-sold for Saturday's fight between Fury and Chisora

Around 60,000 tickets have been pre-sold for Saturday’s fight between Fury and Chisora 

‘Tyson is not going with me because we’re friends but because he knows I always come to fight,’ he said. ‘Win or lose there’s no doubt that together we will give the fans a great night. We’ve proved that before.’

Surprisingly, Chisora has not watched their two preceding fights. A trio of recent defeats took to 12 the number of losses on his record, but he regrouped to beat former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev.

Chisora is in leaner, fitter trim than for some time and he added: ‘You look good for your age if you keep doing what you love, if your mind hasn’t retired yet but is still working. Even if you semi-retire you must keep doing something.

‘I have no regrets. None. Why should I? My kids are happy. I love them and my wife and I love to box, win or lose. If it’s to be lose this time, I will collect my money and go home, to be happy with my family, smoking a cigar on my way out of the arena. Be happy for me.’


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